Antique plans of fortified towns and cities by Nicolas de Fer (1705)

We’ve just listed 180 decorative maps and prints by Nicolas de Fer, from “a la Sphere Royale” (1705). These detailed plans and views depict fortified towns and cities, islands, battles, and military and civil engineering projects. Most of the plans are of cities in European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Malta & the Ukraine. Other plans cover the cities of Quebec, Constantinople (Istanbul) and Batavia (now Jakarta). The maps include the French islands of Île de Ré and Belle-Île-en-Mer. There are three fascinating plans showing the route of the unfinished Canal de l’Eure, Louis XIV’s ruinously expensive vanity project to supply water to the fountains at Versailles. A number of the maps depict sieges, bombardments or military engagements of the then fairly recent Nine Years’ War (1688-97). De Fer was appointed cartographer to Louis, Dauphin of France, and later to both Philip V and Louis XIV, kings of Spain and France respectively. These maps and plans are scarce, and we only have one of each. We show 20 of our favourites below.